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Bahamas Photo Journal: Exuma Islands Adventure Tour

Updated on December 22, 2012
Half Moon Bay and Saddleback Cay in the Exumas, Bahamas.
Half Moon Bay and Saddleback Cay in the Exumas, Bahamas. | Source

While staying in Nassau, Bahamas on a four day vacation with my husband a few years ago, I had a chance to see some of the Exuma islands first hand. We were very impressed and truly felt like we had found a piece of Paradise.


Beautiful turquoise ocean in the Exumas.
Beautiful turquoise ocean in the Exumas. | Source

Map of the islands of the Bahamas

Where are the Exuma Islands?

The Bahamas is made up of 700 different islands. The biggest island is Grand Bahama Island, followed by Nassau/ Paradise Island. The other islands are referred to as the out islands of the Bahamas and stretch for hundreds of miles southeast of Grand Bahama Island.

The Exumas, or Exuma Islands, are considered to be part of the out islands of Bahamas. They are an archipelago of over 260 islands, beginning 35 miles southeast of Nassau and stretching approximately 120 miles to the south.


Atlantis Hotel and yachts on Paradise Island
Atlantis Hotel and yachts on Paradise Island | Source
Nicholas Cage's Paradise Island retreat, accessible only by boat.
Nicholas Cage's Paradise Island retreat, accessible only by boat. | Source

Our Day Trip to Exuma

We arranged a day trip through a tour agent at our hotel in Nassau. There were many day trip packages to choose from, but the one from Island World Adventures caught our eye first, so we booked an excursion with them. Am I ever glad we did - we had a fantastic time!

Our trip started at the Paradise Island Ferry Terminal early in the morning. We boarded the Island World high-speed powerboat with a few other couples, our captain and first mate for the day, and we were off. We passed some very impressive homes along the way, including Nicholas Cage's island retreat on Paradise Island, and private islands owned by movie stars like Johnny Depp.

The weather had been overcast and drizzling when we left our hotel in the morning, but we were happy to discover a beautiful sunny day awaited us once we got a little further south. We were told the weather in Exuma is often different than the weather on the two larger main islands of the Bahamas, and we were happy this was the case.

Islands in the Exumas, Bahamas
Islands in the Exumas, Bahamas | Source

Snorkelling

One of the highlights of the day was snorkeling in the ocean off the boat. The water was crystal clear, and there were so many beautiful and colourful fish all around us. I wished I had an underwater camera to capture photos of some of the beauties we saw in the ocean.

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We also had a chance to explore a sandbar of beautiful white sand during our trip. I felt like a kid again, playing in the sand and splashing in the warm water!

Sandbar in the Exumas

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Feeding the Sharks after lunch

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Feeding the Sharks

After a lovely BBQ lunch on the island, we had the opportunity to feed some sharks. There was a special area set up where you could take any leftovers from your lunch and throw it into the water off the dock. The sharks quickly appeared to eat their lunch.

They were fascinating to watch, but I'll admit I was more than a little freaked out to realize that I had been in the water not too far away just a couple of hours earlier.

Sharks
Sharks | Source
Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay | Source

Relaxing on Saddleback Cay

In the afternoon, we had some time to explore the island of Saddleback Cay and relax on any of the seven private beaches on the island that are used exclusively by guests of Island World Adventures. The Half Moon Bay beach is the largest beach on the island.

The water was crystal clear, and the sun was hot. We were in our own tropical paradise, and felt incredibly blessed to be experiencing this wonderful day. I began to wonder if anyone would notice if we didn't board the boat for the return trip back to Paradise Island. I wanted to stay there much longer!

Half Moon Bay and beach on Saddleback Cay

Half Moon Bay beach of Saddleback Cay, Bahamas.
Half Moon Bay beach of Saddleback Cay, Bahamas. | Source
Our friendly captain and first mate waiting to take us back to Nassau.
Our friendly captain and first mate waiting to take us back to Nassau. | Source

All too soon, it was time to leave. On our way back to Paradise Island, we made a stop at the small island of Leaf Cay. Leaf Cay is home to one of the only remaining populations of the endangered Exuma Islands iquanas, also known as Allen Cay iquanas. They are a type of rock iquana native to Bahamas, and they are an endangered species, with a population of less than 2500 remaining. The iquanas on Leaf Cay are used to tourists stopping by to feed them and will run right up to you to take a grape from a stick. They are faster than they look!

Leaf Cay and the endangered Exuma Island Iquanas

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Endangered iquana on Leaf Cay in the Bahamas.The endangered Exuma Islands iquanas on Leaf Cay, Bahamas.Dozens of endangered iquanas on Leaf Cay island in the Exumas.Leaf Cay iquanas on the beach.Feeding the iquanas grapes off of sticks on Leaf Cay.
Endangered iquana on Leaf Cay in the Bahamas.
Endangered iquana on Leaf Cay in the Bahamas. | Source
The endangered Exuma Islands iquanas on Leaf Cay, Bahamas.
The endangered Exuma Islands iquanas on Leaf Cay, Bahamas. | Source
Dozens of endangered iquanas on Leaf Cay island in the Exumas.
Dozens of endangered iquanas on Leaf Cay island in the Exumas. | Source
Leaf Cay iquanas on the beach.
Leaf Cay iquanas on the beach. | Source
Feeding the iquanas grapes off of sticks on Leaf Cay.
Feeding the iquanas grapes off of sticks on Leaf Cay. | Source

Bahamas Travel Poll

Have you ever been to the Bahamas?

See results

Although our trip to the Exuma Islands was brief, it made a lasting impression on me. I hope to return there some day, and spend much more time enjoying the natural beauty of the Exumas.

5 stars for Island World Adventures Exuma Day Trip
Saddleback Cay, Exuma Islands, Bahamas
Saddleback Cay, Exuma Islands, Bahamas | Source

Exuma Trip Poll

What do you thing you would enjoy most about this trip to the Exuma Islands?

See results

Comments on Trip to the Exumas, Bahamas

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    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks AliciaC! It was so much fun, and so beautiful. I would definitely take that trip again, if I ever get the chance.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love the photos, savingkathy! The water colour is beautiful. It must have been great fun to observe the wildlife and feed the iguanas.

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you daisynicolas! It really was a pleasure to try to capture some of the beauty with my camera.

    • daisynicolas profile image

      daisynicolas 5 years ago from Alaska

      You have captured an exotic landscape with your great eye for beauty. It's sooo inviting.

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      It was wonderful! I really hope to go back again some day, but for now I will have to be content to look at the photos :)

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Wow, snorkeling in crystal clear water, an opportunity to feed sharkes and sandy beaches - it all sounds absolutely wonderful and your photos are fabulous!

      Thank you, I enjoyed reading and voted up.

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Jen! This trip definitely brings back many happy memories. Thanks for commenting :)

    • profile image

      jenubouka 5 years ago

      What an incredible journey you embarked! Oh, how the pictures remind me of a slice of heaven, the water is incredible, I can actually feel as though I could jump in. Wonderful article!

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks very much, Express10. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

      I enjoyed reading this hub and looking at the beautiful pictures.